We have watched New York go through this already. My New York friends have been warning me to "brace" myself. I'm braced. The scores look as expected. This is a multi-million dollar yawn.
The spin will be that it was really good first try. We have a new benchmark (Really? You are setting a benchmark using a test that hasn't been validated? Explain how that works exactly...). Our kids can do better. The teachers suck, but Pearson is going to sell you a few more millions of dollars worth of test prep, teacher prep, and prep for the prep. And, if that doesn't work, well, the children clearly have issues with lack of grit and we can test for that too.
The sections in the NJDOE explainer (page 7), comparing scores to NAEP and SAT are really interesting. They forgot to tell the average reader that "proficient" in NAEP-speak represents a very high level of achievement. They also forgot to mention that SAT, beginning with last week's in-school
Note to parents of juniors: Brace yourselves.
And, I can't let this go. What the heck is up with NJDOE making this announcement to only invited guests on the front lawn of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company? And why did the list include (frankly, continues to include) the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association? Those two, even more than the Gates and Prudential money taking PTA, really bothers me. They clearly have a fair amount of influence over NJDOE and our legislators. Why aren't parents and students afforded that kind of access?
So, practically speaking, what does this all mean? Standardized tests don't teach. As parents, we need to speak up. Our children deserve so much better than this. Oh, and Opt Out of the tests.
I'll leave you with a nod to Chris Tienken: